Oct 16, 2008

Goodbye for Awhile & here is a backup of EHS news....

Duty calls.... This is "crunch month" for my national Environmental, Health & Energy reports... so I will not be posting, blogging, emailing or even connected to the web for anything other than critical work functions for the next month.
As requested, here is the backup of EHS news since 2004 (archived by month and year). Topics are also included for ease of research.
Just download and unzip. Click "index.htm" in main folder to open index page.
Here is the download link (Zip format 5mb): EHS-News.zip
Thanks for helping "Protect, People and The Planet.
"It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously."

Oct 14, 2008

"It's a fun hundred miles a gallon." Two decades old

The Bellingham resident created the Avion with Bill Green in 1984 that got over 100 mpg. Two years later, the duo drove the car from the U.S./Mexico border to Vancouver, B.C. - averaging 103.7 miles per gallon and spending less than $15 on the diesel that fueled their drive into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Naturally, they thought someone would be interested in the prototype they built with knowledge they gleaned from studying at the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University.
Not only was the Avion painted in "arrest me for speeding red," as Henderson likes to describe the color, but the lightweight car's fuel efficiency couldn't be beat.
He was wrong about the interest. "Nobody really cared. Big deal. Fuel was cheap. There was a glut of fuel," Henderson, 51, recalled earlier this week. "Fast forward to today. Things change, don't they?"
So Henderson, who owns Bullfrog Boats, and Green, now a professor of industrial design at Virginia Tech University, have brought their car out of retirement.
Henderson said he doesn't yet know what fuel will be used to power the second-generation Avion.
"These are not the average backyard tinkerers," Seal said. "They know what they're doing."
Its engine is built by Mercedes and it is fueled by diesel, but Henderson said it could be made to run with biodiesel, slightly refined vegetable oil or natural gas.
Henderson will take the Avion on a run Saturday, Oct. 11, from Bellingham to Portland - going about 60 miles per hour - to see if he can beat its old record for fuel-efficiency.
He'd liked to see if the car can get as much as 110 miles to the gallon.
If other motorists on the road react like they have in the past, Henderson will get a few thumbs-up, some smiles and people taking snapshots.
"All the people look at you," he said. "It's a fun hundred miles a gallon."

Oct 6, 2008

EPA Launches New Chemical Assessment and Management Efforts

As part of the EPA's Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP), EPA has announced its intent to update the current Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory of industrial chemicals by "resetting" it to more accurately reflect the chemicals in commerce. EPA also plans to develop a program to challenge the U.S. chemical industry to provide health and safety information on inorganic high-production volume (HPV) chemicals. These efforts will enhance the agency's efforts to assess and manage the chemicals presently in commerce and are based on feedback from a broad group of stakeholders.
"Chemicals are used every day in all types of settings—from science labs to our homes," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "The more we know about the chemicals we use today, the more we can ensure a healthier, safer tomorrow."
EPA will seek additional stakeholder and public input on specific plans for resetting the TSCA Inventory and for developing a phased, multi-year approach for challenging the chemical industry to provide EPA with health and safety information on HPV inorganic chemicals. Of the more than 83,000 chemicals on the TSCA Inventory, many are no longer manufactured or imported. EPA has already collected information on 2,200 organic chemical HPV chemicals. (HPV chemicals account for more than 90% of the production volume on the TSCA Inventory.)
These new efforts are in addition to EPA's ongoing work to assess and manage 6,750 high and moderate volume chemicals. To date, EPA has posted assessments on more than 100 HPV chemicals, which are manufactured or imported above one million pounds a year. Today the agency posted assessments on an initial set of moderate volume chemicals—those manufactured or imported between 25,000 and one million pounds a year.
For additional information on the ChAMP program, including the new assessments generated by EPA, plans for the TSCA Inventory reset, and the Inorganic HPV program, visit www.epa.gov/champ/.

DuPont chemical still allowed in California.

California's governor has vetoed a bill that would have banned a DuPont-made chemical in food packaging in that state.
Instead, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this week signed a pair of bills backed by the chemical industry that establish a regulatory framework for chemicals that are potentially hazardous to human health.
But Schwarzenegger, in a veto statement, said he did not think a "chemical-by-chemical, product-by-product approach" was an effective way to make state policy.
"I prefer a more systematic, science-based approach that would take into account the health effects, risks, and available alternatives for chemicals used in commerce today," the governor said.
The "green chemistry" initiatives that Schwarzenegger signed into law could lead to a ban of chemicals in household items that are determined to have harmful health effects. Schwarzenegger said PFOA and PFOS, the perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, targeted in the vetoed bill, should be reviewed under the new state program.
DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said the governor took the right approach in vetoing the PFOA bill and establishing the new chemical review initiative.
PFOA, also known as C8, is used in the production of DuPont's nonstick coating Teflon and other products. The chemical is not used to make grease-resistant coatings for food packaging, like DuPont's Zonyl line of products, but it shows up in trace amounts as a byproduct.
Read more From delawareonline.com

Oct 1, 2008

Pharox LED Bulb Is Energy Efficient, And Lasts 35 Years

The Pharox LED Bulb will be a little bit on an investment in the beginning, but will definitely pay for itself with its energy efficiency, and lifespan.
The Pharox LED Lamp uses up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb, and Can replace up to a 40 Watt incandescent bulb with the same amount of light intensity.
The Pharox lasts 50 times longer with a lifetime of 50,000 hours lifetime, compared to 1000 hours of a standard incandescent bulb.
By introducing revolutionary LED technology to the market, Lemnis is empowering consumers, influencers and business partners world over to actively take on climate change through highly efficient lighting technology. Lighting can be attributed to 19% of total worldwide energy consumption and it is our mission to reduce this consumption through the use of our products.
Read more from chicagotribune.com

EPA + Google = Woohoo!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a Google Earth-based interactive website that pinpoints opportunities for solar, wind or biomass siting on contaminated properties. The site combines the Google Earth platform with an EPA database that lists each property’s attributes for renewable energy development.

According to the EPA, many lands tracked by the agency, such as large Superfund sites, and mining sites offer thousands of acres of land, and may be situated in areas where the presence of wind and solar structures are less likely to be met with aesthetic, and therefore political, opposition.

Many EPA tracked lands are in areas where traditional redevelopment may not be an option because the site may be remote, or have difficult environmental conditions that are not well suited for traditional redevelopment such as residential or commercial.

These EPA tracked lands also have key infrastructure already in place. Existing electric transmission lines and capacity, as well as roads, criss-cross many of the landscapes.  In addition, most of the areas are adequately zoned for such development.

There are approximately 480,000 sites and almost 15 million acres of potentially contaminated properties across the United States that are tracked by EPA.

Maps for these six types of energy, as well as non-grid connected wind and photovoltaic solar energy, for the entire nation are also available:

* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Wind Energy Generation Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Community Wind Energy Generation Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Energy Generation Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Utility Scale Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy Generation Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Biopower Facility Siting Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Biorefinery Facility Siting Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Non-Grid Connected Wind Energy Generation Potential
* EPA Tracked Sites with Non-Grid Connected Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy Generation Potential

"I'm going to show you something I haven't showed anybody yet," - H2

Sun + Water = Fuel

With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy.

Storing energy from the sun by mimicking photosynthesis is something scientists have been trying to do since the early 1970s. In particular, they have tried to replicate the way green plants break down water. Chemists, of course, can already split water. But the process has required high temperatures, harsh alkaline solutions, or rare and expensive catalysts such as platinum. What Nocera has devised is an inexpensive catalyst that produces oxygen from water at room temperature and without caustic chemicals--the same benign conditions found in plants. Several other promising catalysts, including another that Nocera developed, could be used to complete the process and produce hydrogen gas.